The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Friday against allowing a ballot initiative that would overturn new voter integrity laws in the state.
In a unanimous ruling, the court found that there were not enough valid signatures on a petition submitted to place an initiative on the ballot that would overturn recently passed election reform laws, according to Breitbart.
The initiative, financed in part by billionaire George Soros, fell 1,458 short of the required 237,645 signatures to place it on the November ballot, the report said.
According to Ballotpedia, the Arizonans For Free and Fair Elections initially submitted 475,290 signatures. Maricopa County Judge Joseph Mikitish disqualified 75,000 of those Aug. 19 after reviewing challenges, but eventually allowed the measure to move forward and be placed on the ballot.
Mikitish, however, reversed on Aug. 26 after the State Supreme Court asked him to explain his rationale behind the disqualified signatures.
The higher court then affirmed the reversal and the ballot initiative died, according to the report.
“In reversing itself today, the trial court has done something never done before in Arizona initiative practice and which is not authorized by statute,” lawyers for Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections said in a statement following the ruling. “It has allowed initiative challengers to strike individual signatures under (the law), for any reason, and allowed them to benefit from the invalidity rate calculated by the County Recorders’ random sample that the challengers did not include in this lawsuit.”
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club said in a statement that the upheld ruling “vindicated” its efforts to get the initiative thrown out.
“[The ruling] vindicates what we knew all along: the radical Free and Fair election initiative lacked enough lawful signatures to qualify for the ballot,” the group’s statement said. “The other side knew it too, and that is why their lawyers tried to get the court to adopt a rigged methodology to calculate the final number of valid signatures that would sneak their disqualified measure onto the ballot.”
Supporters of the initiative included some $10 million in donations from an organization called ADR Action, according to financial documents filed with the state.
That group’s website is not available as of Tuesday, but its page on Twitter is still accessible.
According to that page, the group is “dedicated to community empowerment, civic participation, and equitable democracy.”